Enthusiasm, creativity and empathy

Anne has been dancing in Danielle’s Dancing with Parkinson’s programme at the National Hospital for Neurology since September 2018. In this personal account she shares the value of dancing in her life living with Parkinson’s…

“Through an evening physiotherapy event at the NHNN I heard about Danielle’s plans for a new group based at the hospital, and I was fortunate to be invited to join them. Once again the positive feeling of belonging to a supportive group with a shared experience and a positive, experienced teacher has been vital to my own well-being, and by extension to my husband and children.”

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aep skills exchange: all the right questions

news from the aep...

joy, play and creativity in the everyday

The session that Tim Casson led on day 3 of the AEP Skills Exchange focussed on how he engages people with the joy of dance by asking the ‘right questions’. In a joint discussion with Tom Hobden, we considered the different ways we ask questions of our dancers - to develop empathy, to make connections, to find shared interests and to demystify the world of creativity, to enable people in the community to access dance. In his blog, Tim reflects on some of the questions he asks himself and the groups he works with, and offers a few thoughts on his practice as a community artist.

aep skills exchange: breaking habits, evolving creative thinking

news from the aep...

Playful Creativity

To warm-up on day three, Jo shared a number of tasks which demonstrated her thinking around how we might foster creativity in choreography in a playful way whilst connecting things we already know and solving problems. We explored multiple tasks that encourage listening, observing and responding to a partner by offering a number of choices in improvisation and through game play. Read more to find out the tasks and perhaps try these out with your groups - we'd love to know your thoughts on their impact for your group.

aep skills exchange: Coaching and creative practice

news from the aep...

the art of paying attention

Hannah Robertshaw introduced us to the creative parallels between our work and coaching practice on day 2 of the Skills Exchange.

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the art of listening

The things that emerged from this session are valuable for all of us to consider for ourselves, as well as for our practice with others:

  • Listening - REALLY listening, and giving space and time for the person to resolve their thoughts, is a different experience to partially, distracted listening
  • Holding the space (a theme that has arisen already during our week) invites the contributor to feel safe in their expression
  • Being alongside someone in their thinking, can men physically, in emotional terms or both in the creative setting
  • The principle of our creative work aligns with the coaching belief that a person has it inside themselves to find the right way, path, or answer
  • We are there to support a creative experience, not to make decisions about which way to lead someone down a specific path
  • Directing a process does not mean deliberately pointing in one direction
  • Sometimes allowing space and time, is more powerful than filling every moment
  • Coming to our own conclusions, helps us to commit to the answers we discover
  • It can be hard to get beyond pleasing people when making creative direction choices, but moving beyond our initial responses gives us space to find something else - ask what next, or what else of your practice and of those you work with